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MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'

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#1 +M2Ys4U

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:07

There have been a ton of post mortems about the whole SOPA/PIPA fight, with many trying to figure out where and how the MPAA "went wrong." After all, this is a group that is very used to getting its way inside DC. And it got slaughtered. We've already discussed our thoughts on why the MPAA failed, but what stuns me is how every time someone from the MPAA opens their mouth, they seem to make the situation worse by demonstrating just how tone deaf they are to the online community and what their concerns were. Whether it's just more backroom dealing, each response just sounds like a group of people who are playing a different game, and still don't realize the rules have changed.

The Hollywood Reporter's version of the post mortem is a good read, even though it covers much the same ground as many other such recaps. Still, it's worth reading to get a good feel for Hollywood's view of the world. But the really stunning part is the quote from Michael O'Leary, the MPAA's number two guy, who makes what may be the most tone-deaf statement we've seen to date in this fight:

The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was outmanned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."


Yes, even when he tries to say that they're trying to learn about the confounded internet thingy, he sounds ridiculous and dismissive. But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet. And that's really what SOPA and PIPA were about. Rather than trying to understand this new platform, and learn from the many entertainers who do get the internet, they did what the MPAA does and simply tried to regulate that which they don't understand and fear.

Furthermore, even more ridiculous is the end of that sentence: "an opponent that controls that platform." As the article makes clear, he means Google. Which shows that he still doesn't get it. First, Google didn't lead the protests. It came late to the game, after the grassroots had already taken off with this stuff and run with it. But, more to the point, contrary to what O'Leary and the MPAA seem to believe: Google does not control the internet. No one does.

This, of course, explains why the MPAA wants to "negotiate" with Google these days. But that's not going to work. The folks on the internet don't want a backroom deal, whether it's negotiated by Google or someone else. Either way, this suggests that the MPAA is desperately in need of new leadership. They need leaders who don't try to regulate that which they admit they don't understand. They need leaders who aren't so clueless as to think that Google controls the internet (or that Google is somehow "the enemy.") And, really, most important, they need leaders who recognize and understand that the internet is their future too -- and any leadership needs to not fear the internet, but understand it and learn to embrace it. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that the MPAA is going to find such leadership any time soon.


Source: TechDirt


#2 +devHead

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:12

Wow, what a moron.

#3 Colin McGregor

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:14

All they need to do is find a way to avoid 8 yr old scriptkiddies that think ddos'ing is doing any good and they should be good to go.

#4 CentralDogma

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:32

The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was outmanned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."


It’s like their some kind of vaudeville era villain, twiddling their handlebar mustache and yelling “I’ll get you next time, Internet!”

#5 c.grz

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:39

It’s like their some kind of vaudeville era villain, twiddling their handlebar mustache and yelling “I’ll get you next time, Internet!”


You've referenced a scene that takes place in several movies; MPAA says shut Neowin down!!!!

#6 undu

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:42

He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.

Does he mean Google?

#7 CentralDogma

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 20:49

Does he mean Google?


Clearly he means Al Gore.

#8 flexkeyboard

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 21:02

The current CEO of MPAA is Chris Dodd, the guy has been working congress and senate for the last 20+ years. He was force to quit the senate in 2010 because he was becoming unpopular with the people for all this corruptios. Go figure...

#9 Phouchg

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 21:44

Isn't it the internets? Ok, now I'm confused. :s j/k :p

#10 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 23:38

Think it says it all, and why the MPAA has failed so badly to adopt to this technology. Idiots.

#11 ThePitt

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 23:52

But, more to the point, contrary to what O'Leary and the MPAA seem to believe: Google does not control the internet. No one does.



#12 DKAngel

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 23:59

if they learnt to adapt they would be more comfortable with it, its not liek it hasnt been around for 15+years :/ were they not comfortable when tapes came out or cd's came out, or dvd,s or mp3 players friggen idiots

#13 dnast

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 04:54

if they learnt to adapt they would be more comfortable with it, its not liek it hasnt been around for 15+years :/ were they not comfortable when tapes came out or cd's came out, or dvd,s or mp3 players friggen idiots

Considering they were the ones publishing the tapes, CDs, and DVDs, I'm pretty sure they weren't too concerned with those formats. I'd be surprised if they weren't comfortable with mp3 players once Napster starting gaining popularity, though.

You're right. They should've done a much better job of adapting. I wonder how bad off they would be if iTunes and similar services didn't go live when they did.

#14 OP +M2Ys4U

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 17:56

Considering they were the ones publishing the tapes, CDs, and DVDs, I'm pretty sure they weren't too concerned with those formats. I'd be surprised if they weren't comfortable with mp3 players once Napster starting gaining popularity, though.

You're right. They should've done a much better job of adapting. I wonder how bad off they would be if iTunes and similar services didn't go live when they did.

Jack Valenti, the former head of the MPAA, once said that "the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone".

They never have understood technology. All they care about is power and control, as they think that's how they will earn their profits.

#15 +Chris123NT

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 19:08

The MPAA has always been against technology. This goes back to cassette tapes and video tapes and the user ability to record/copy. What really freaked them out is when congress passed the Audio and Video Recording act of 1992 which stated that copying for personal use and sharing was OK, but making many copies and selling them was not OK.

Then you had the DMCA which tried to break those copying mechanisms. SOPA/PIPA was the next step in the MPAA/RIAA trying to trample everyone's rights to their own personal belongings. Not to mention they wanted to crush amateur creativity because they see it as competition.